Top-ranked Kansas avoided any chance of a letdown after its high-profile win over Baylor by blowing out Oklahoma State 83-58
LAWRENCE, Kan. —
Udoka Azubuike had 19 points and 16 rebounds, Ochai Agbaji added 15 points, and top-ranked Kansas avoided any chance of a letdown after its high-profile win over Baylor by blowing out Oklahoma State 83-58 on Monday night.
Devon Dotson added 11 points and Christian Braun and David McCormack had 10 apiece for the Jayhawks (25-3, 14-1), whose victory over the No. 2 Bears allowed them to retake the top spot in the AP poll earlier in the day. And the win over the Cowboys (14-14, 4-11) gave coach Bill Self’s team a half-game lead over Baylor in the race for the Big 12 title.
The Jayhawks now have won five straight against the Cowboys and 22 of the last 24 games played against them in Allen Fieldhouse. They also have won 23 in a row overall, building a strong case for the NCAA Tournament’s No. 1 overall seed.
Cameron McGriff led the Cowboys with 16 points, though most came with the game well out of reach. Isaac Likekele and Lindy Waters added 11 apiece as Oklahoma State was held to 39% shooting from the field.
Early on, the Cowboys’ game plan was obvious: They were going to switch between man-to-man and zone defenses and continually collapse into the paint, trying their best to take away Azubuike’s vast array of rim-rattling dunks.
As a result, eight of the first 11 shots Kansas hoisted up came from beyond the 3-point line.
The plan worked for a bit, but the Jayhawks methodically pushed the lead toward double digits. It finally hit that mark when McCormack swatted Likekele’s layup attempt to create a run-out, and Dotson finished it by tossing up a lob that Agbaji hammered down to give Kansas a 27-17 lead with just under 6 minutes left in the first half.
Oklahoma State kept the deficit from growing into the early stages of the second half, in part because of the way it kept Dotson from getting to the bucket. The sprightly guard had just about every shot contested or blocked, and his frustration was visible when another shot was swatted just before the under-16 media timeout.
The Cowboys simply couldn’t find enough offense to capitalize.
The Jayhawks eventually embarked on a 16-2 run that included 11 straight points. Two came at the foul line when Dotson was whacked in the chin by McGriff’s elbow and Oklahoma State’s forward was given a technical foul, and the run ended when Dotson stripped Likekele and converted a three-point play at the other end to make it 51-30 with 14:17 to go.
The Jayhawks cruised the rest of the way, allowing Self to empty his bench in the closing minutes.
Oklahoma State finished the game on an 11-0 run to make the final score appear more respectable. But the reality was that the Cowboys were never in the game after the first few minutes of the second half, when the Jayhawks began to heat up on offense and stretched their lead past 20.
Kansas committed just 10 turnovers and shot 44% from the field, despite Dotson and backcourt mate Marcus Garrett going a combined 5 of 20 from the field. The duo compensated by piling up 11 assists and eight rebounds.
Oklahoma State begins a final homestand against Iowa State on Saturday.
Kansas heads down Interstate 70 to face Kansas State on Saturday.
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